Honestly, I knew I was not a healthy weight. Privately, I called myself fat. Good for my self esteem? Probably not. But it’s how I referred to myself. If I had been asked the same question as a Harris Interactive/Health Day poll asked, I might have failed as well.
According to Health Day News on Thursday, September 2, 2010, 30 percent of Americans do not have an accurate perception of their current weight. I found this very interesting, as I probably wouldn’t have given an accurate answer.
Here’s what the study found:
Thirty percent of those in the “overweight” class believed they were actually normal size, while 70 percent of those classified as obese felt they were simply overweight. Among the heaviest group, the morbidly obese, almost 60 percent pegged themselves as obese, while another 39 percent considered themselves merely overweight.
In case you forget, and I try to – here are the “official definitions” based on BMI.
Underweight: BMI below 18.5
Normal Weight: BMI of 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight: BMI of 25.0 to 29.9
Obese, Class 1: BMI of 30.0 to 34.9
Obese, Class 2: BMI of 35 to 39.9
Morbid Obesity: BMI 40+
When you got started on your journey, did you just “know” you needed to lose weight – or could you have articulated what category of “weight” you fell in?
Did I need to know the “name of my fat” when I was overweight? Not really. I understood that at 5’10” and 305 pounds I was in trouble. According to the BMI standards, I was in the morbidly obese category with a BMI of 43.8. Whatever you feel about BMI, it is one indicator that medical professionals often use.
For me, knowing that I needed to lose weight for my health was enough of a motivation for me to eventually get my act together and lose over 150 pounds. Labelling myself as obese or overweight wouldn’t have motivated me. What motivated me was realizing that I was going to continue getting stuck in chairs, miss out on riding the roller coaster with my kids and possibly shorten my life. That was motivating.
My question is: Does it matter that so many overweight and obese Americans underestimated how their weight fell within the ranges – or was the question irrelevant because of the “labeling” factors? Diane